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Zenefits is an excellent option for growing teams looking for an HR solution. With competitive pricing and a focus on end-user experience, it’s a solid choice.

Zenefits’ fast facts

Starting price: $8/mo.

Key features:

  • Mobile-first design.

  • Industry-leading end user experience.

  • Reasonable base cost, with customizable add-ons.

There are plenty of options out there for teams looking to go digital with their HR and benefits management. Most solutions go to great lengths to meet the needs of their clientele, but few focus as heavily on end-user functionality as Zenefits does.

With a convenient mobile app, plenty of self-service features and a host of customizable HR add-ons, Zenefits has a lot to offer for growing teams in need of a simple, cost-effective software solution.

Jump to:

Zenefits’ pricing

Zenefits offers three pricing tiers, each of which can be paid either annually or month-to-month. Users can start with a free trial and can customize their subscription by including any of a number of add-on packages, so they only pay for what they’re using.

The starting price is on the lower end compared to Zenefit’s peers in the space. That being said, plans charge for a minimum of five employees, so teams with four or fewer members won’t save more by having a lower head count.

Zenefits Essentials

Price: $8 per month per employee (or $10 per month per employee paid month-to-month).

This plan covers the basics:

  • Onboarding automation.
  • Employee management.
  • Time off and scheduling tracker.
  • Mobile app.
  • Pre-built analytics options.

Zenefits Growth

Price: $16 per month per employee (or $20 per month per employee paid month-to-month).

The Growth plan adds the following features to the Essentials list:

  • Advanced, customizable analytics.
  • Compensation analytics and reporting.
  • Performance management tools.

Zenefits Zen

Price: $27 per month per employee (or $33 per month per employee paid month-to-month).

Finally, Zen users will receive the following advanced features in addition to those offered in the lower plans:

  • Employee engagement and feedback.
  • “People Hub” messaging and community platform.
  • Payroll functionality.

Add-ons

Zenefits also offers several modules that can be added or removed as needed to fit the needs of the team:

  • Payroll (included in Zen): $6 per month per employee.
  • Expert support: $8 per month per employee.
  • Bring-your-own-broker benefits option: $5 per month per employee.
  • Recruiting: Starting at $35 per month.

Zenefits’ key features

End user self-service

Perhaps the most important characteristic of the Zenefits platform is the convenience for the end user (i.e., the employees, contractors and other contributing staff). So often, HR software is built to make life easier for the HR teams, while making things more frustrating for the employees waiting for their paychecks.

Zenefits sidesteps this issue by building the tool from the ground up to make it easy for every employee to use. With a user-friendly interface and comprehensive self-service options, employees can log in and check statuses, make adjustments, submit requests (Figure A), etc., from anywhere and on just about any device.

Figure A

TriNet Zenefits. Employees can submit time-off easily for management and HR approval.
TriNet Zenefits. Employees can submit time-off easily for management and HR approval.

Speaking of which…

Mobile app functionality

Plenty of SaaS solutions, especially in the B2B space, include a mobile app. But not all of them are worth the time it takes to download it and sign in. From obtuse interfaces, to limited functionality, to lackluster security and access management, a good number of those “convenient” mobile apps are more decorative than anything else.

In contrast, the Zenefits mobile app is designed to make it easier for employees to make use of their account from anywhere and make management easier for HR admins. Virtually everything that can be done on the desktop version can be done on the mobile app, making it a significant value add.

Contingent worker support

One of the big sticking points for teams that need HR software (especially in a post-pandemic, “anywhere operations” business landscape) is whether or not a tool enables payment to, and management of, non-traditional employees. Contractors, independent workers, temps and basically all non-W2 staff can be served by the Zenefits platform (Figure B).

Not only does the Payroll package facilitate payments to independent workers, but those workers can be given access to the platform as end users, just like any in-house employee. They’ll have access to any features the employer is currently subscribed to, including the base plan and any add-ons. It’s fewer headaches for them and for you, as you manage schedules and run payroll for all of your staff from a single app.

Figure B

TriNet Zenefits. Hire a variety of employee types through Zenefits.
TriNet Zenefits. Hire a variety of employee types through Zenefits.

Full-fledged payroll add-on

Not all payroll tools can support automated tax calculations and filings in every U.S. state. Zenefits can, even for the above-mentioned contingent workers. Payroll (Figure C) includes unlimited pay runs, direct deposit, support for garnishment and tips and a lot more. It’s a fairly inexpensive add-on for Essentials and Growth users, and Zen users get it as part of their base subscription.

Figure C

TriNet Zenefits. Review payroll and run it with a click of a button.
TriNet Zenefits. Review payroll and run it with a click of a button.

Zenefits pros

  • Full-featured mobile app.
  • Comprehensive self-service for end users.
  • Complete payroll functionality for both in-house and independent staff.
  • All-in-one HR support covering recruiting, onboarding, performance management and more.
  • Multiple subscription tiers, with modular add-on options.
  • Competitive pricing.

Zenefits cons

  • Pricing for a minimum of five team members.
  • No task management functions.
  • No learning management/shared library system.

If Zenefits isn’t ideal for you, check out these alternatives

Gusto

Logo for Gusto.
Image: Gusto

Coming in at a higher starting price, Gusto may seem like a less economical option than Zenefits at first. But Gusto offers a number of features as part of its subscriptions that would be add-ons with Zenefits. With everything that Zenefits has on offer, plus a few more tools (like task management), Gusto may be the better choice for teams that would rather avoid numerous add-on fees.

Pricing

  • Simple: $40 per month plus $6 per employee.
  • Plus: $80 per month plus $12 per employee.
  • Premium: Inquire on Gusto’s website for details.

Rippling

Rippling logo.
Image: Rippling

For teams looking for a platform geared toward larger, more complex organizations, Rippling may be a better fit. With a similar “all-in-one” admin solution, a great deal more verticals fall under Rippling’s purview, including IT, finance and more. The core product is comparable in price to Zenefits, and subscribers can opt-in to other modules as needed to expand functionality.

Pricing

  • $8 per month, per user. Though, with each additional module package you sign up for, the cost can quickly climb to “enterprise-grade” levels.

Paycor

Logo for Paycor.
Image: Paycor

Not every team can settle for a quick-and-dirty HR software tool. Some organizations have to keep compliance and governance in mind, and their tech stack has to likewise be regulation-friendly. Paycor has built-in functionality for these particular use cases, helping teams maintain privacy, security and other forms of risk mitigation.

Pricing

  • Contact Paycor for pricing.

Review methodology

While writing this article, we researched the vendors and their websites, as well as customer reviews and ratings, to gain a full understanding of where each solution fits into the market landscape — and who they serve most effectively.


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